Brandon Bass completes the starting line up
The Celtics starting lineup will once again be anchored by point guard Rajon Rondo with Avery Bradley at shooting guard, Paul Pierce at small forward, Brandon Bass at power forward, and Kevin Garnett at center.
The Celtics fell one game short of the NBA Finals last year with a team that was older than most in the playoffs, but their most successful starting line up was not in the game as Avery Bradley had season-ending shoulder surgery.
According to 82games.com, the Celtics starting lineup of Rondo, Bradley, Pierce, Bass, and Garnett, which was not formed until late in the season, had won 11 of the 14 games (78.5 percent) they started together.
The reason for their success was a +82 total point differential which was the result of stifling defense, limiting their opponents to .94 points per possession, while scoring 1.13 points per possession on offense. This Celtics line up has yet to benefit from a full season together, and it is likely they will have tremendous success in a regular season format with more time between games for the veterans.
Now that the starting lineup is set for the upcoming season with the group that the C's have found great success with last season, Boston appears to be in even better shape as their bench is deeper than last season. Jeff Caplan and Marc Stein reported that the Celtics and Jason Terry have reached a three-year contract agreement that will help to provide much-needed scoring off the bench.
Will the Celtics improve next season?
In addition Sam Amick of SI.com reports that Jeff Green is close to accepting a four-year, $40 Million deal that would bring the promising forward back to the Celtics in order to provide the much-needed depth behind Pierce, and a promising player for the future.
According to Chris Forsberg of ESPN, the C's are also hoping Greg Stiemsma will return to the team and that Ray Allen will return on a two-year deal to fill out the remainder of the rotation.
The Celtic's starting lineup should be able to maintain the defensive performance that gave them the best defensive rating in the league at 98.2, while the bench will help to lock down opposing offenses.
Further, Boston will answer one of their biggest flaws of last season—bench scoring—with the reserve players they are hoping to have under contract by July 11th.
The Celtics should be able to greatly boost last year's offensive rating of 101.0 (27th in the NBA) with the offensive talent they will have coming off the bench.
Although the starting lineup will be a year older, the entire team is beginning to form into a serious threat in the upcoming season.
An entire season with the starting lineup playing together night in and night out with reserve players who can allow them ample time to rest will likely lead to a very dangerous and healthier team come playoff time.
The Celtics are hoping that these off season moves will lead to the raising of Banner 18 at the end of the season.